“Horses for courses” is a term often used to describe professional golfers who seem to thrive on certain species of grass over others, but if the saying applies to hitting a small ball with a long stick, what about hitting a slightly larger ball with a much wider stick?
The one game is devilishly difficult, given that the small ball is stationary when it is struck, but the other is hurled from a short distance either with extreme velocity or with high rates of spin.
We have jumped codes from golf to cricket, where horses for courses is equally applicable.
Young spin sensation Lloyd Pope has proved his ability to bend it during Sheffield Shield play and no one inside the game has been caught off guard as the teenage prodigy knocks down wickets as though those wickets were unguarded by willow-wielders.
He made a big splash in Shield and has been snapped up by the BBL Sydney Sixers, who play home games on the Sydney Cricket Ground, a venue with a reputation for allowing spinners to swing it in seeming defiance of the laws of physics.
Pope is just 18 and hopefully will not wilt beneath the weight of expectations, as no less luminary a cricket figure than Shane Warne has tipped Pope to be, well, the next Warne.
Pope had better get started on that book, although he may need time to conjure up a title with the cachet of Warne’s book, “No Spin.”
“He is still a young kid and has a lot of energy when he bowls,” said Warne to The Daily Telegraph.
Pope’s figures are known well in most circles, or would that be ovals?
He has full claim on the title “prodigy,” as he came to notice as the youngest bowler to take seven wickets in Shield play. How South Australia let him get away to New South Wales is something to ponder, but the deed is done.
“He’s definitely a player to watch this summer,” said Warne. “Every T20 team needs a good leg-spinner.”